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How can county residents request mosquito inspection?

If mosquitoes present a problem in your area, or you would like a site inspected by division personnel, please contact fill out the online service request form>


What can you do?

As county residents, you can help reduce mosquitoes around the home by taking basic steps to reduce habitats. The Essex County Department of Environmental Affairs is asking for your assistance and cooperation, Additionally, you can take precautions to help prevent your exposure to mosquito bites and any diseases they may transmit.

See our Mosquito Control FAQ for more information>


IPM APPROACH: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.

In order to accomplish long-range and environmentally sound mosquito control, ECMC employs an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.  This program incorporates many pest control methods including

  •   Surveillance
    • A comprehensive surveillance program guides the Division’s activities and control is emphasized on the elimination of mosquito-breeding habitat and eradication of mosquitoes when they are still in the aquatic stages of their development. Surveillance for mosquito borne diseases concentrates on the West Nile virus, but may also include Eastern equine encephalitis and Saint Louis encephalitis along with any emerging diseases of concern in the future.

      Our surveillance program consists of three main aspects:

      Inspectors practice surveillance every day they are in the field, by inspecting for the presence of mosquitoes before doing any treatment and as the first step in responding to a service request for mosquito inspection. These site specific inspections are the first step in determining the nature of any local mosquito populations.

      We inspect and respond to requests for service in all 22 municipalities in Essex County. Once we receive a request either through the phone or online, an Essex County mosquito inspector who is certified by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to apply pesticides to control mosquitoes will visit the infestation area to study the mosquito habitat and take the most appropriate action to reduce the local population.

      A more comprehensive picture of mosquito activity across the county is obtained by our New Jersey Light Trap program. A light trap is a trap placed in a permanent location from year to year. A simple trap, mosquitoes are attracted to a light source and collected on a nightly basis. Keeping these traps in set locations across the county for many decades has allowed us to have a good record of the number of mosquitoes in an area, and allows us to compare activity in a given season to past years and helps determine appropriate actions to be taken.

      The third leg of our surveillance program focuses on West Nile virus and any other emerging mosquito-borne viruses. This surveillance is done on a nightly basis in varying locations across the county. Trap locations are chosen by analyzing citizen requests for service and known areas of mosquito activity. As the season unfolds, our entomologist focuses on covering as much of the county as possible to ensure our program gets the best picture of virus activity across the county. Mosquitoes collected in this program are identified and sorted before being submitted to the New Jersey Department of Health where they are tested for West Nile virus activity. Results are communicated back to us from the health department and help form a picture of where control is needed across the county.
  •   Control
    • With an IPM strategy, control efforts focus primarily on the immature, water-borne stages of the mosquito.  The immature stages are generally confined to an aquatic microhabitat and are easier to treat since they cannot escape control measures.

      Our inspectors are in the field on a daily basis during the mosquito season, searching for areas across the county that produces mosquito larvae. Common habitats can range from naturally occurring floodplains and woodland pools, to more artificial habitats such as abandoned swimming pools and small containers (like a birdbath, or children’s toys) found around the home.

      The primary insecticide used to control the immature stage is a biorational (a biological pesticide of natural origin that has limited or no adverse effects on the environment or other beneficial organisms) larvicide. It uses a bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) to specifically target mosquito larvae.  Another target specific larvicide uses the bacterium Bacillus sphaericus (Bs) for the same purpose.  Chemical control measures are also taken by using an organophosphate larvicide on older larvae that no longer feed.  A petroleum oil derivative is also used from time to time, mainly as a pupacide in aquatic habitats.

       

      Biological control measures are also taken by utilizing natural predators or parasites to eliminate or control the target pest. Different fish species were used to control larval populations in enclosed aquatic habitats.  The state of New Jersey has established a statewide program  that uses resources from the Division of Fish and Game to provide mosquitofish, (Gambusia affinis), to counties as needed. In addition to Gambusia, the program also offers other species of fish for mosquito control, including the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), freshwater killfish (Fundulus diaphanus), pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus), and bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), for biological control in areas where the mosquitofish cannot be released.

      While most mosquito control is done by our inspectors on a small scale basis, there are times during the season that larger areas are flooded and cannot be treated by hand. During these events, the Division will join forces with the Morris County Mosquito Extermination Commission, and using services provided by the New Jersey State Mosquito Control Commission, we are able to survey or treat large areas by air using a helicopter.

      Every treatment is overseen by a mosquito inspector flying along with the pilot and inspectors on the ground responsible for ensuring proper a proper application of larvicides to the area.

      When unusually large numbers of adult mosquitoes are present and public health is threatened, as a last resort a synthetic pyrethroid is used as an adulticide. Adulticide applications (spraying) are conducted when biting adult mosquito populations exceed public health or nuisance thresholds. These applications are conducted via truck-mounted ultra low-volume cold aerosol sprayers during late evening or early morning hours.

      All pesticide applications the Division utilizes comply with guidelines recommended for mosquito control in New Jersey by the Agricultural Experiment Station of Rutgers Universityand regulations set forth by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

      Below is the complete list of our products with accompanying labels, MSDS sheets, and factsheets.

      Category 

      Trade Name

      Active Ingredient

      Class 

      Uses 

      Label 

      Materials Safety Data Sheet 

      Chemical

      Anvil

      Sumithrin

      Pyrethroid

      Adulticide

      Label

      MSDS

      AquaReslin

      Permethrin

      Pyrethroid

      Adulticide

      Label

      MSDS

      Fyfanon

      Malathion

      Organophosphate

      Adulticide

      Label

      MSDS

      Scourge

      Resmethrin

      Pyrethroid

      Adulticide

      Label

      MSDS

      Zenivex

      Etofenprox

      Pyrethroid

      Adulticide

      Label

      MSDS

      Abate

      Tememphos

      Organophosphate

      Larvicide

      Label

      MSDS

      Golden Bear

      Proprietary oil

      Surfactant

      Larvicide / Pupacide

      Label

      MSDS

      Biorational

      Altosid

      Methoprene

      Insect growth regulator

      Larvicide

      Label

      MSDS

      Aquabac

      Bacillus thuringiensis  var israelensis

      Bacterial

      Larvicide

      Label

      MSDS

      Vectobac

      Bacillus thuringiensis  var israelensis

      Bacterial

      Larvicide

      Label

      MSDS

      Biological

      Gambusia affinis

      Western Mosquitofish

      Mosquito fish

      Larvicide / Pupacide

      n/a

      n/a

      Pimephales promelas

      Fathead Minnow

      Mosquito fish

      Larvicide / Pupacide

      n/a

      n/a

      Lepomis macrochirus

      Bluegill Sunfish

      Mosquito fish

      Larvicide / Pupacide

      n/a

      n/a

      Lepomis gibbosus

      Pumpkin Seed Sunfish

      Mosquito fish

      Larvicide / Pupacide

      n/a

      n/a

      Fundulus diaphonus

      Freshwater Killifish

      Mosquito fish

      Larvicide / Pupacide

      n/a

      n/a

  •   Water Management
    • As part of our IPM program, Essex County mosquito control uses water management as a strategy to reduce mosquito habitat by physically managing and reducing surface water across the county. 

      By attempting to remove the water source before mosquitoes can utilize it, we can reduce mosquito populations without the need for chemical or biological control methods. However, water management is not a cure-all and is not appropriate for all situations. Our wetlands specialist and equipment operators inspect all areas before starting work and decide on the best course of action for each situation.

      Water management projects can vary greatly in scope and size. During the winter months, Essex County mosquito control’s inspectors are heavily involved in small water management projects. These projects typically involve cleaning brooks and waterways of debris and accumulated sediment using hand tools. These projects are meant to reduce surface water in small areas that inspectors have found thru the season. Doing this work before the mosquito season allows our inspectors to be more efficient in inspecting and treating areas during the summer.

      Our program has countywide NJDEP Freshwater Wetlands and Flood Hazard Area permits that allow us to maintain streams, manmade watercourses, and storm water management facilities.

      Larger projects of this scale require detailed notification to state agencies and local property owners that may be affected during the work. We also concentrate efforts heavily on removing blockages from the Passaic River ensuring proper flow of the river. This preventative work helps us to alleviate flooding along the river after heavy rain events, and reduce the area that must be treated for larval and potentially adult mosquitoes. Low ground pressure equipment allows us to work in sensitive wetlands while disturbing the areas as little as possible.

       For all water management projects, we follow the “Best Management Practices for Mosquito Control and Freshwater Wetlands Management” guidelines as prepared by the NJDEP.











Contact Info

For more information please contact:

Essex County Mosquito Control
P / 973.239.3366 Ext. 2480
F / 973.433.0791

Essex County Division of Environmental Affairs
99 West Bradford Ave
Cedar Grove, NJ 07009

Office Hours:
Monday to Friday
7:00 am to 3:00pm


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